User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 294 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 294
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  1. C.J.
    Apr 4, 2009
    9
    A fantastic game. After playing Mass Effect, I went out and bought every BioWare game I could find, including Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, simply because I couldn't afford to have missed these brilliant games at the prices they are being sold for now. Having a strong interest in Chinese history, Jade Empire appealed to me immediately. As with Mass Effect, Jack Wall A fantastic game. After playing Mass Effect, I went out and bought every BioWare game I could find, including Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, simply because I couldn't afford to have missed these brilliant games at the prices they are being sold for now. Having a strong interest in Chinese history, Jade Empire appealed to me immediately. As with Mass Effect, Jack Wall has produced another hit-and-miss soundtrack, with slow, drab tracks followed by thunderous, spectacular masterpieces. The yu pipes and taiko drums prove to be the saving grace here, and the Ancient China-based theme of Jade Empire certainly benefits from their presence. The graphics, whilst not brilliant, are more than adequate. I did, however, play the "Special Edition" PC version, which has been obviously heavily modified as opposed to its Xbox counterpart, so my perspective may be somewhat skewed. I found the characters enjoyable, with vibrant colours and intricate clothing designs making them all the more appealing. I was surprised to read that my personal choice of character, Monk Zeng, was not even in the original release of the game! Good thing then that BioWare had the presence of mind to return him to the cast for the Special Edition release. Voice acting is above average, which is always a plus with a dialogue-heavy RPG, and there are familiar voices involved. I believe I even heard Nathan Fillion in there, whom I had no idea did voice acting for games. There were also no bugs, crashes or sudden errors of any kind here, which plagued my experience when playing through both of the KotOR titles. On the negative, I found Jade Empire's one and only major flaw to be the combat system, which was far too basic. The AI was not particularly brilliant and the combat move sets for each style were very limited. This alone strikes one point from my final score. Nevertheless, if you enjoy BioWare's other renowned high standard RPGs like KotOR, you should certainly not miss this game. For $10 (Australian), there's really no excuse. Expand
  2. Oct 8, 2011
    8
    Other than exceptional music, fantastic setting, several well-written characters and some emotional moments, this game is completely dull in gameplay. The game may be fun at beginning, but later it's just getting more and more repetitive and boring. very little creative strategy needed or possible. Yes, the setting is unique... but there's very little of it to explore. But I do hope theyOther than exceptional music, fantastic setting, several well-written characters and some emotional moments, this game is completely dull in gameplay. The game may be fun at beginning, but later it's just getting more and more repetitive and boring. very little creative strategy needed or possible. Yes, the setting is unique... but there's very little of it to explore. But I do hope they could make a sequel for it to fix those problems, since this Asian style is so fresh in the current major video game industry. Expand
  3. Oct 6, 2012
    8
    Probably the most underrated of Bioware games. Excellent story, great universe inspired by Chinese mythology, interesting characters (though some of them are clearly KOTOR rip-offs, like Sky), good script and voice acting, believable antagonists with motivations beyond "destroy the world" cliché, intriguing and sadly underdeveloped idea with Open Palm and Closed Fist philosophies,Probably the most underrated of Bioware games. Excellent story, great universe inspired by Chinese mythology, interesting characters (though some of them are clearly KOTOR rip-offs, like Sky), good script and voice acting, believable antagonists with motivations beyond "destroy the world" cliché, intriguing and sadly underdeveloped idea with Open Palm and Closed Fist philosophies, engaging and sometimes very original quests and some real choices to make along the way. The combat isn't terribly deep, but won't annoy you and is pretty dynamic and fun. That is, if you are looking for an RPG with lots of numbers, hard tactical combat, inventory management, huge selection of weapons, items and skills, You'll be disappointed- Jade Empire doesn't offer any of that. What it DOES offer is an unique experience, you''ll rarely see in a video game. A very solid action/rpg title. Just don't think about it as a simplified fantasy version of KOTOR( Dragon Age:Origins gets that honor). Expand
  4. AndyS.
    Oct 22, 2007
    9
    This is more like it, an RPG that does not take days to learn tp play. The visuals are good, the story compelling and the control system works. So its "old fashioned"? so what! Its all that a game needs to be. My only quibble is that it is fairly short at 21 hours.
  5. YermakirumY.
    Mar 4, 2007
    9
    Very good game.
  6. [Anonymous]
    Mar 27, 2007
    10
    This game is yet another amazing RPG by the RPG gods, BioWare. Amazing gameplay, excellent story that keeps you going, minimal complication of leveling up (unlike some games like Oblivion and maybe even NWN2), and great graphics. Finally a game that got me playing for hours on end, after so many not so good games... The problem is the kind of games that are TRYING to pass as RPG nowadays This game is yet another amazing RPG by the RPG gods, BioWare. Amazing gameplay, excellent story that keeps you going, minimal complication of leveling up (unlike some games like Oblivion and maybe even NWN2), and great graphics. Finally a game that got me playing for hours on end, after so many not so good games... The problem is the kind of games that are TRYING to pass as RPG nowadays are focused on two things: graphics, and character customization. The amount of customization options on the characters looks and later level up option in Oblivion is pathetic. Why would I want to change the angle of the guys chin or the color depth of the guys nosehair?? Especially when I barely even see my character..? Graphics? the graphics in oblivion though meant to look real are very artificial and ugly looking... and the skin textures for the people are extremely ugly. and gameplay... what gameplay? the combat system is stupid for hand-to-hand combat. Jade Empire on the other hand doesnt focus on these things. It has some customizations but just enough, and good, vibrant graphics with nice effects, but just enough so that the world doesn't look like a hazy artificial place. And the gameplay is lovely. Hand-to-hand combat is done very naturally in this game. Expand
  7. May 5, 2012
    10
    Awesome game, very involving story, fleshed out companions, rich dialogue and a lot of roleplaying options. The outcomes are not quite spectacular, but the sheer amount of options give me that great feeling of being there and staying in-character as much as possible. The combat is simple but dynamic and rewarding. The world design and atmosphere are top notch, I wish there were more gamesAwesome game, very involving story, fleshed out companions, rich dialogue and a lot of roleplaying options. The outcomes are not quite spectacular, but the sheer amount of options give me that great feeling of being there and staying in-character as much as possible. The combat is simple but dynamic and rewarding. The world design and atmosphere are top notch, I wish there were more games like this, with distinct personality. I love the lore and the presentation. The voice acting is also great quality. Expand
  8. Dec 30, 2013
    8
    Let me say this up front that i played this game in 2013. But OMFG This is the game that reminded me what bioware was all about back in the day!

    Yes the plot is the standard bioware fare of "Evil lurks on the horizon, it's your job to defeat it" But it's something that the studio does very efficiently. And jade empire reminds us why. What's good about it : -Unique rpg setting
    Let me say this up front that i played this game in 2013. But OMFG This is the game that reminded me what bioware was all about back in the day!

    Yes the plot is the standard bioware fare of "Evil lurks on the horizon, it's your job to defeat it" But it's something that the studio does very efficiently. And jade empire reminds us why.

    What's good about it :
    -Unique rpg setting based on oriental culture.
    -A good martial art based combat mechanism that is neither like Dragon Age/Baldur's Gate nor like Mass effect. Refreshing is what i want to say.
    -Rich and detailed world with bioware's signature narrative.
    -Awesome Voice Acting

    What's not :
    -Uneven chapter lengths (the game is broken into chapters btw). 3rd chapter is bigger than the next three combined
    -You really have to talk to everyone to get the sidequests, as a result your playthrough could be as short as 9 hours or as long as 30 hours (i took 28 hours to beat it)
    -A cringeworthy twist in the story's plot. Not terrible, but still...

    In conclusion You gotta play this if you are a wrpg fan. If DA2 left you disappointed play this to calm yourself
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  9. Oct 16, 2015
    9
    Only one negative for me is the main story which is nothing new or unexpected. Gameplay is easy and fun and still challenging. The fight mode is one of the rare you can find in games and nevertheless one of the best which make the difference. Beautiful chinese spirit covers the whole game. Plenty of very interesting side missions they make playing highly attractive and enough addictive. ItOnly one negative for me is the main story which is nothing new or unexpected. Gameplay is easy and fun and still challenging. The fight mode is one of the rare you can find in games and nevertheless one of the best which make the difference. Beautiful chinese spirit covers the whole game. Plenty of very interesting side missions they make playing highly attractive and enough addictive. It is just cool game. Expand
  10. Aug 18, 2017
    8
    very unexpected game, had low hopes for this game, however this game has surpassed my expectations and surprised me. this game has that linear but big old bioware rpg style which is something very different but fitting. the game was boring for the first 2 hours, however once you gained some levels and got introduced to the great and unique characters the game started to pick up and lead avery unexpected game, had low hopes for this game, however this game has surpassed my expectations and surprised me. this game has that linear but big old bioware rpg style which is something very different but fitting. the game was boring for the first 2 hours, however once you gained some levels and got introduced to the great and unique characters the game started to pick up and lead a very deep and interesting quest character and story building. imo this game is definitely one to play the story, characters, quests, gameplay, mechanics will definitely not disappoint. Expand
  11. Mar 11, 2011
    10
    A little weak on the story at some points, but with amazing gameplay and incredible atmosphere, thanks to the good music and level design. Bioware experience© at it's finest.
  12. Nov 12, 2011
    8
    Very good game which contains a lot of the stuff of which Bioware were the very best at delivering - excellent story and great characters, excellent voice acting (how on earth did they get John Cleese?) and solid gameplay. Quite beautiful to look at in some parts too. The fighting system is by no means perfect but it's good enough and the mini game brought back some good memories. I was aVery good game which contains a lot of the stuff of which Bioware were the very best at delivering - excellent story and great characters, excellent voice acting (how on earth did they get John Cleese?) and solid gameplay. Quite beautiful to look at in some parts too. The fighting system is by no means perfect but it's good enough and the mini game brought back some good memories. I was a little disgruntled with the duration of the game, but at today's prices this is very good value for money and you should get at least one playthough out of it. Try it if you haven't already. Expand
  13. AndrewK.
    Mar 6, 2007
    10
    Awesome game, best action RPG I've played since Half life 2. has a truly unique, compelling, and intriguing story line that keeps you wanting to hurry to the end to save Master Li.. In truth you can take your time and finish all the gloriously illustrated and story voice acted NPC interactions of any game yet to come.. This game even compells you to talk to simple peasants due to the Awesome game, best action RPG I've played since Half life 2. has a truly unique, compelling, and intriguing story line that keeps you wanting to hurry to the end to save Master Li.. In truth you can take your time and finish all the gloriously illustrated and story voice acted NPC interactions of any game yet to come.. This game even compells you to talk to simple peasants due to the chance you may stumble upon some simple quest that may make your character more powerful. The action is simply wonderful, fluid combat moves non turn based real time combat makes this game very challenging, I suggest playing on easy mode your first time through so you can master the martial arts moves on each successive play of this game I suggest raising the level of difficulty as the game itself will change due to your difficulty rating.. Every choice you make allows you to change your alignment towards good or evil.. or possibly neutral if your choices aren't genuinely good or evil.. but selfish. Overall this game gets 10 out of 10 due to the amount of work put into this game to enhance the realism and draw your further into the world that is The Jade Empire.. I can see this game becoming the next World of Warcraft.. or Everquest.. As long as they don't make the MMORPG suck like Matrix online sucked... or Star Wars galaxies.. etc.. (or even FF12's horrid grinding rate.) I'll be playing this game for a long time, hoping and wishing for a Jade Empire MMORPG... Expand
  14. Mar 12, 2012
    10
    One of my personal all-time favorites, and a game that deserves all the accolades I can bestow upon it. Amazing gameplay, clean and crisp graphics, immersive atmosphere, and great music all culminate in an RPG extravaganza that I cannot recommend enough to any RPG gamer out there. This game is a must-have, especially on the PC!
  15. Dec 1, 2012
    10
    thanks to the pc version jade empire has become even better. there are new enemies, effects, new weapons, new styles ( one of them is the best in the game too) theres a new difficulty mode where you can make a new gameplus, and theres a new character and in my opinion hes the best one yet. all this and everything else that made jade empire to good with its action packed gameplay, tons ofthanks to the pc version jade empire has become even better. there are new enemies, effects, new weapons, new styles ( one of them is the best in the game too) theres a new difficulty mode where you can make a new gameplus, and theres a new character and in my opinion hes the best one yet. all this and everything else that made jade empire to good with its action packed gameplay, tons of dialogue choices, and original world. the xbox version and pc version are both great but get the pc version if you can Expand
  16. May 22, 2013
    8
    A classic Bioware rpg. It has an amazing story that takes place in a rich unique background. There is a variety of different characters to choose from, different fighting styles, multiple romance options, and you can decide to walk the path of good, evil, or somewhere inbetween. On steam it is only fifteen dollars.
  17. DavidT.
    Aug 4, 2007
    10
    Bar none the best game in this genre that I've played. Please Lionhead give us a sequel it seems as though the the time they put throwing a few extra polys and baubles into the PC version would have been better spent with a sequel.It seems the makers of Fable are finally learning this(My second Fave).
  18. Sep 16, 2010
    8
    Awesome game this game have really good fighting system but there is problems too.The style of fighter is extremly slow and style of fighting tiger (magic) is fcking fast.I use it in almost every battle.The dificulti is too much easy for me and when u get the style of lighting dragon u will havent problem defeat everyone in the whole game.Lighting dragon is something like stun for 10 secAwesome game this game have really good fighting system but there is problems too.The style of fighter is extremly slow and style of fighting tiger (magic) is fcking fast.I use it in almost every battle.The dificulti is too much easy for me and when u get the style of lighting dragon u will havent problem defeat everyone in the whole game.Lighting dragon is something like stun for 10 sec so u just hit him with dragon 9 seconds fight by using other style and then u will hit him with lighting dragon again.CASTSHOUT the problem with installing the game DONT MEAN THIS GAME SUCK. if u win the game there is cool difficulty where u play as character u using in the master campaing and u have all your styles and stats but the enemies is extremly strong and whit favourite style fighting tiger (which was maxed) is relly hard to play only the third battle i hope this reviev is helpful.
    ps:The style called mirrabel is good for defeating deamon and the tiger style is for nothing there

    Zalonza
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  19. Mar 18, 2017
    8
    A really underrated gem. I originally played the game on Xbox but after playing the PC port, there really isn't any competition as to which is better. The PC version adds in two new styles as well as upgrades for two weapons, a new character and two more enemies, the Rhino demon and the Ghost Lord, both of which fit right in to the original cast of enemies. The Story is interesting if aA really underrated gem. I originally played the game on Xbox but after playing the PC port, there really isn't any competition as to which is better. The PC version adds in two new styles as well as upgrades for two weapons, a new character and two more enemies, the Rhino demon and the Ghost Lord, both of which fit right in to the original cast of enemies. The Story is interesting if a bit simple by Bioware standards, but it benefits greatly from an interesting setting in Imperial China that is fairly uncommon to see. The writing is as always well done that added a real sense of immersion, there always felt like there was a whole world out there outside of the land your exploring with use of clever characters and dialogue. One such moment was when the water dragon mentioned how while the Jade Empire prospered many lands suffered because of it which helps add to the feeling of a world outside the Empire. The charatcers and followers are also well written but I always felt as if the team was much smaller and less diverse then it was in reality. This is most likely due to many of the characters having no real impact on the plot with only about half of your followers really needing to be there for plot progression after their initial introduction. In terms of graphics the game does a good job of holding up with a good mix of cartoonish colours and realistic models and faces, which helps the game stand up well over a decade after it's release (so long as you can handle somewhat low poly count and a few graphical glitches here and there). The combat is where most people find fault with the game due to it's simplicity, and they are not wrong. The games combat is very easy to abuse with a combination of Paralyzing palm/Storm dragon and any attack the enemy isn't weak to but I think most people forget that this was Biowares first attempt at a real time combat system that didnt rely on pauses and dice rolls like Kotor or BG. For the most part the combat gets the job done. The game length was my biggest gripe though as my run of the game only clocked in at 22 hours, that includes completing all side quests. This is criminally short as most RPGs take roughly 50 - 60 hours to complete. This is most likely due to the game quickly coming to an end just as it starts to reach its high point. The first three chapters of the game take up more then half of the run time which is fairly disappointing as the game still has another 4 chapters to go that is completely linear with no side quests to be had. These last 4 chapters combined took about six hours to complete compared to chapters two and three taking about 8 - 9 hours. The game felt very rushed after the plot twist which may have made sense in a story telling perspective, but it made the later portion of the game feel as if there should be another 30 hours of content.

    Overall I feel as if Jade Empire is overlooked by many. I feel as if it's initial reaction of hate was due to it not being as polished as Bioware's previous game Kotor, and that it's niche setting and glaring flaws made many people overlook this fantastic game. If a sequel is to ever be conceived I hope that the flaws are addressed as the World of Jade Empire has a lot of potential to expand upon because as of right now, Jade Empire doesn't do enough justice to what is a really interesting setting.
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  20. Mar 8, 2019
    10
    Один из многих шедевров BioWare, на этот раз восточная тематика - 10/10.
    -
    Одни становятся героями, а другие — толпой, которая аплодирует героям. (c)
  21. JaysonL
    Jun 22, 2009
    9
    I found this to be a great game. The story is very good , probably the most compelling I've seen in awhile. I recommend this game, if not for windows, then for Xbox.
  22. Apr 27, 2013
    9
    This masterpiece from Bioware received major attention from the critics, but not quite from the gaming fans. Jade Empire has the same feel as all of Bioware’s other games, but its setting is relocated into a fictional Chinese kingdom. Jade Empire’s “tri-stat” system is simple, but also a very creative and effective RPG feature. Each attribute offers individual combat advantages, butThis masterpiece from Bioware received major attention from the critics, but not quite from the gaming fans. Jade Empire has the same feel as all of Bioware’s other games, but its setting is relocated into a fictional Chinese kingdom. Jade Empire’s “tri-stat” system is simple, but also a very creative and effective RPG feature. Each attribute offers individual combat advantages, but also work in conjunction for persuasion checks during dialog. This delivers fantastic gameplay that won’t confuse newcomers to the RPG genre. After Jade Empire’s initial release on the Xbox, many of the fans complained about its easy difficulty. The special edition’s new “Jade Master” difficulty feature smashed this complaint and offered an incredibly challenging experience for veteran RPG players. In addition, the enhanced PC edition offers high resolutions and advanced AA settings for stronger GPU’s. Don’t let this gem slip past you again and experience this masterpiece! Expand
  23. Mar 22, 2012
    9
    Awesome, highly atmospheric game with lots of love for fantasy kung-fu clichés and amazingly cool endings. Do try to play through as an utter, complete villain and be amazed. The only downside is a bit simplistic combat, plus it´s not the longest thing out there, either. But, for any RPG fan, this is a no-brainer. Must play, will enjoy.
  24. Jul 24, 2012
    9
    This is an old game. One of the first for Bioware, and it's been out there for a while now. But the game is good. The story is solid, the gameplay is correct and the ambient is nicely done. Even it's simplicity plays in it's favor. The combat system is a rock-paper-sissors kind of system, but that helps to get it on fast. It has lots of nice videos, a "1943" kind of minigame (with theThis is an old game. One of the first for Bioware, and it's been out there for a while now. But the game is good. The story is solid, the gameplay is correct and the ambient is nicely done. Even it's simplicity plays in it's favor. The combat system is a rock-paper-sissors kind of system, but that helps to get it on fast. It has lots of nice videos, a "1943" kind of minigame (with the chance to obtain a couple of nice rewards, as is part of the story), lot's of subquests, and the famous duality based dialogue from all Bioware games. This one is probably the one that inspired Mass Effect, as you don't play as "good" or "evil", but as "help-everyone" or "learn how to help yourself" kind of way. :) Since you have different endings, different styles and different ways to solve the situations (some you can't even access if you don't follow a certain phylosofical path...), it has a nice replayability factor (I played this game when it came out, and I've already finished it at least 5 times). :) Wish Bioware kept doing them like this one... Expand
  25. May 3, 2021
    8
    This game is simple and shows exactly what Bioware was going to be.
    All the foundation of Bioware's future success can be found in this game, variety of characters, styles, great lore, great world building, all of this is here.
    Problem is that is one of their early works, that means that this was probably rushed in some sorts, because you will spend 70% of the in 3 of the 7 chapters of
    This game is simple and shows exactly what Bioware was going to be.
    All the foundation of Bioware's future success can be found in this game, variety of characters, styles, great lore, great world building, all of this is here.
    Problem is that is one of their early works, that means that this was probably rushed in some sorts, because you will spend 70% of the in 3 of the 7 chapters of the game, because the ending is really linear and hardly has any side quests.
    The music is really good.
    If you don't care for old games, this is actually a good one that does get that much attention
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  26. Mar 11, 2022
    8
    Не самая лучшая игра Bioware, но и не самая плохая. Если хотите поиграть в такую же rpg только в жанре темного фентези, рекомендую игру от этих же разработчиков- Dragon age: Origins. Все недостатки Jade empire были доведены до ума в этой игре (кроме коридорных локаций).
    Оценка: 8.2
    Не самая лучшая игра Bioware, но и не самая плохая. Если хотите поиграть в такую же rpg только в жанре темного фентези, рекомендую игру от этих же разработчиков- Dragon age: Origins. Все недостатки Jade empire были доведены до ума в этой игре (кроме коридорных локаций).
    Оценка: 8.2
  27. May 25, 2021
    8
    I will start with Music, Audio, and Dialogue

    I think the music was beautiful and it fit the setting extremely well. It wasn't unique, it's the same flutes, harps, etc and you can expect in a Chinese folklore inspired game. It's good, just nothing special. There also not a lot of variety in the sound track, idk how many there are but it is small and it's repeated a lot. I go back and
    I will start with Music, Audio, and Dialogue

    I think the music was beautiful and it fit the setting extremely well. It wasn't unique, it's the same flutes, harps, etc and you can expect in a Chinese folklore inspired game. It's good, just nothing special. There also not a lot of variety in the sound track, idk how many there are but it is small and it's repeated a lot.

    I go back and forth on the voice acting. On one side the majority of the characters sound wooden and stiff, characters played by actors who have showed incredible talent and emotional depth in other games, but this is thrown off when there are characters who don't sound wooden at all, which there are 2 maybe 3 of. The other characters aren't simply wooden but they all have this same almost monotone polite tone. That makes me think it was intentional. The characters who don't talk like that are a mercenary who is a psychopath who lives to eat and drink alcohol while the other is a mad scientist. If it's not intentional it's bad voice directing, if it's intentional it's still bad because it gives off the impression that's it's wooden and not very well delivered. But I understand what they could have been going for. Now it's time for performance

    It worked smoothly... Usually. Idk what frames it runs at normally, but probably 30-60 which isn't great compared to new games, but is ok for games at the time I think. Fps in combat generally stays consistent too, occasionally dropping. There is a location where it makes the game a slideshow, and it's understandable because there multiple buildings, hostile and non-hostile entities everywhere, and one of the largest open areas in the game.

    Story/writing/design

    The the writing and story is incredible. The lore is interesting. Characters, through their dialogue and design(not their acting) all have unique personalities and feel like they are people in the world. The world feels grounded and lived in. Gameplay/Combat

    The morality system while on the surface seems basic and normal, which it mostly is, it does however have interesting concepts.It isn't about good and evil, but if it fits with the philosophy. One moment a good task would increase your standing to one philosophy the next a bad one would increase the same one.
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Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 86
    Like the PC version of "Knights of the Old Republic" before it, Jade Empire is a remarkable RPG that, apart from better graphics and load times, really has little to separate it from the Xbox version from two years ago.
  2. The long-awaited PC version of Jade Empire retains the great story and setting of the Xbox original, but the streamlined combat and core design haven't aged quite as gracefully.
  3. 70
    Compelling narrative and crippled combat make Jade Empire a case of form over function -- and depending on what you want from a single-player RPG, that might be totally OK. It's short (in the 20-hour neighborhood for first-timers) and sweet; just don't let the premise trick you into expecting gameplay that isn't altogether there.